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This is a listing for characters associated with the Centauri Republic that appear in the Science Fiction series Babylon 5. Visit here for the main character index.

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The Centauri Republic

    In General 
I want my people to reclaim their rightful place in the galaxy. I want to see the Centauri stretch their hand and command the stars. I want a rebirth of glory, a renaissance of power.

  • Ambadassador: If Londo is to be believed, being capable to become a sword-wielding berserker at the drop of a hat is a requirement to be an ambassador for the Centauri Republic.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Centauri women love this trope. They often have very saccharine manners and appearance, but are also prone to stab you in the back when you least expect it. There are some exceptions, however:
    • Adira Tyree subverts this. She is originally tasked by an alien spy to get incriminating evidence from Londo by seducing him, and fulfills her mission. However, just before delivering the files to her owner, she runs away, and after she is freed from slavery she seems to genuinely care for Londo.
    • The Centauri girl in The War Prayer averts this as she seems to really love her boyfriend. This may be because she is still young and has not yet learned the ways of her society.
    • Also averted by Timov, one of Londo's wives, and the only one he keeps, in that she does not put on sheep's clothing and prefers to stay a bitch in plain sight. Ironically, it would be more accurate to say she's a sheep in bitch's clothing.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: They have no major arteries in their wrists, two hearts, and as for their reproductive organs... well...
  • The Clan: The noble houses, such as House Mollari, or House Refa.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Apparently inoffensive Centauri who are actually Ambadassadors aside, a single Centauri battlecruiser once overwhelmed Babylon 5's interceptors while firing on a Narn vessel at the same time, and Earthforce, that according to Word of God could have defeated the Minbari if it wasn't for that pesky stealth technology, considers war against the Centauri as a hopeless conflict that would be over in a matter of weeks. This is the same Centauri Republic that is a Vestigial Empire and is most famous for the great number of drunkards among their nobles.
    • Centauri small arms can kill the Shadows, and two palace guards did just that without losing their serious expressions.
    • Conscription: As they reach the legal age, every single free Centauri male joins the military and serves for some time before deciding if staying or returning to civilian life. This means that, if necessary, they can raise a military of a few billions literally overnight. Then they can draft regiments among their subjects and slaves...
    • A sign of the Centauri's technological advantage over most other races is visible over how their ships have artificial gravity without using centrifugal force. A feat only matched by the likes of the Minbari among the younger races (Even humans needed the tech gifted to them).
  • Cultural Posturing: The nobility of Centauri society are really fond of this. They seem to assume that their race is destined to be the driving force behind a mighty empire which will once again rise to the greatness they claim to have once enjoyed at the height of the Republic, and that manifest destiny will see that glory return one day. They also consider their cultural achievements to dwarf those of the other species, even those they're on generally friendly terms with, though they do also have a tendency to exhibit an obsession with alien art and culture.
  • Cycle of Revenge:
    • Their backstory: they were once a peaceful race dedicated to arts and science, until the Xon, the other race from their homeworld, showed up from nowhere and started enslaving and exterminating them for no apparent reason, at which point the Centauri used their superior technology to repel them, chase them back to the other continent of Centauri Prime, and hunt them down into extinction.
    • Subverted with their encounter with the Shroggen, servants of the Shadows who came from space and attacked for no apparent reason (they actually had one: they were pursuing a group of Technomages who had just taken refuge on Centauri Prime after their faction rebelled against the Shadows): after repelling them with the help of the Technomages, the Centauri reverse-engineered Shroggen technology and built a fleet to chase them and finish the job, but failed to find them.note 
  • Decadent Court: The Circle of Houses part of the Centaurum. Subverted with the part actually named Royal Court, as they're the ministers that actually run the Republic and the best at their jobs, so they're (usually) left alone.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Polygamy, at least among nobles looking to secure alliances with other important families. To the point that love is deemed a foolish reason to get married. And if Londo is any indication, they expect dolls to be anatomically correct. Also, they consider sobriety to be a vice.
    • When an Earth official refuses Londo's offer of a drink because he's "on duty," Londo explains that, because Centauri are devoted to so many duties, to Empire, House, people, etc., they have made the pursuit of pleasure another duty, "one which must be pursued as vigorously as all the others." Which means that sobriety would be a vice, since it would be shirking one's duty to pleasure.
  • The Empire: In spite of their name, they're a formerly expansionist superpower ruled by an Emperor.
  • Fantastic Racism: They justify their enslavement of the Narn as them attempting to ennoble a savage, inferior race.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture:
    • To the Roman Empire. Their clothing is more Austria-Hungary while their names have a bit of Italian. Though from Season 2 on, they start picking up attributes of early Nazi Germany, as they engage in a series of revanchist wars and a campaign of genocide against an occupied people. This becomes extremely blatant when an Earth ambassador signs a peace with the Centauri that abandons the other worlds to their fates with the justification of securing "peace in our time." All told, they kind of end up being a sort of amalgamation of all the worst aspects of every European colonial power.
    • The beginning of their arc shares a lot with Austria-Hungary at the start of the 20th century leading to World War 1: An old power in decline, seen by other major power as a shadow of what it once was, who is facing aggression from former vassals who have since won their independance. There's even some parallels with militaristic branches pushing for a return to the older imperialistic ways and a more conciliatory, diplomatic faction trying to reign them in, with the death of the leaders of the later leaving the path open for the former to have their ways, starting a war with devastating consequences.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: The Centauri were once a peaceful race, who was attacked for no apparent reason by two different races seeking to enslave them (the Xon, developed on their same homeworld, and the Shroggen, low-ranked servants of the Shadows). After exterminating the Xon and repelling the Shroggen, the Centauri took the stars to build a force that would capable of defending them... And started enslaving any race too weak to fight them.
    • Irony: This is pretty much the same backstory of the Narn.
  • Higher-Tech Species: Outclassed only by the Minbari among the younger races.
    • More Dakka: Centauri warships have high-powered weapons that fire fast. In one occasion, a single Centauri warship overpowered Babylon 5's Interceptors while simultaneously firing on a Narn heavy cruiser and a squadron of starfuries, and much faster than multiple ships would be able to do in later occasions.
    • Glass Cannon: For all that firepower, Centauri warships are not very durable, and even the guns of a Starfury can cause heavy damage to their battlecruisers.
  • Human Aliens - To the point where (if clothed) there's no way to distinguish them from a human apart from their haircuts and canines
    • They attempted to use this to their advantage: when they first met Humans, they claimed that Humans were a lost colony of the Centauri. It almost worked, until the humans learned more about Centauri physiology.
    • According to the first novel in the Psi Corps Trilogy, the humans were wary of the claim from the very beginning, but decided to be polite and see what they could get from the Centauri until they were able to get some genetic samples.
  • Imported Alien Phlebotinum: They've been both importers and exporters: the vast majority of Centauri technology was originally bought, scavenged or outright stolen from aliens before they reverse-engineered and improved on it (that said, they do have developed some technologies by themselves), and often sell their lesser weapons, spaceships and technologies (cast-offs to them, but still more advanced than what most races can build on their own) as schemes to establish an economical and technological stranglehold on the buyer, who will slowly become dependant on them.
  • Impractically Fancy Outfit and Bling of War
  • Improbable Hairstyle: Male Centauri wear their hair shaped like a male peacock's open tail. The bigger the "fan", the higher the social status. Women shave their heads bald. This turns out to be a Real Life example of Poor Communication Kills. JMS originally intended Centauri hair to be worn more like human hair, with the length signifying rank. When Peter Jurasik was being fitted with the prosthetic, it was put on him sticking up like a peacock's tail. As a joke, he had it left that way and went to JMS, saying "what do you think?" JMS, thinking Peter really wanted it that way, and worried he was a touchy actor, said it looked fine like that. Peter Jurrasik, thinking JMS really liked and not wanting to offend the guy who'd given him a job, agreed. And thus the Centauri got their iconic hairstyle.
  • In Name Only: The Centauri Republic, which is ruled by an Emperor.
  • Intrigued by Humanity: Londo is the biggest offender, but the Centauri in general seem fascinated by humans. In In The Beginning, Londo states that the Centauri were in interested in "art and trinkets and eccentricity, and the humans had art and trinkets and eccentricity to spare." Emperor Cartagia is also enamored of the "human" phrase "the big picture".
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In Season 5 Centauri Prime is devastated by orbital bombardment, just like they did to the Narn homeworld 2 seasons earlier.
  • Miles Gloriosus: While they're still more than a match for most of the younger races, the Centauri Republic is a shadow of its former self and the Centauri are seen as braggarts who are all talk and no action:
    How many Centauri does it take to change a light bulb?
    Only one. But, in the great old days of the Republic, hundreds of servants would change thousands of light bulbs at our slightest whim!
  • Naughty Tentacles: Males have six huge prehensile sexual tentacles, usually hidden beneath their clothing. Women apparently have six slots, three on each side of the spine. The more used, the more pleasure; using all six tentacles and all six slots is needed for conception.note 
  • Never Be Hurt Again: Their original motivation to take the stars was to build a force capable of defending them from aggressions like those of the Xon and the Shroggen. While they still remember these events, they forgot their original purpose and became conquerors.
  • Never Gets Drunk: Most Centauri take enormous amounts of alcohol to get drunk, with a few exceptions like Vir. The fact Londo actually gets drunk with regularity only points out he drinks large quantities of Gargle Blasters.
  • Purple Is Powerful: The Centauri love this color (restricting it to the clothing of nobles and military hardware), and their warships can match Minbari ships in firepower (meaning that nothing built by the Younger Races will survive for more than five seconds against their sustained fire). Averted with the Emperor, whose royal color is white.
  • Realpolitik: The stated philosophy of most prominent Centauri (with heaping doses of Fantastic Racism when it comes to the Narns).
  • The Rich Have White Stuff: The Emperors of the Republic dress in an impossibly posh white space tuxedo.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: Though they commit plenty of sins of their own to be sure.
  • Psychic Powers: The winners of the Super Power Lottery among the Younger Races:
    • Telepathy: they have the largest percentage of telepaths of all the Younger Races, having over three times the proportional number of the humans (second best), and have the third most powerful telepaths after the Minbari (who have some telepaths of immense powers) and humans (who have the highest average, with nobody but the most exceptional Minbari coming close to the P12 level).
    • Seers: A number of Centauri women can see fragments of future that often come true, even if not always as expected.
    • Dreaming of Things to Come: A high number of Centauri males will dream the circumstances of their own death. As with the seers, they may misunderstand what's going to happen, as shown by Londo: he explains early on that he'll die in old age, strangled by G'kar as he strangles him (even if he left out that he'd be the Emperor then), and says he treats G'kar as an enemy because of this, but by the time this happens Londo has been infected by a parasite that controls him unless Londo drinks enough alcohol to get it to sleep and G'kar was his friend giving him a Mercy Kill at his own request, and the parasite woke up.
  • Vestigial Empire: An interesting case: their territory has shrunk greatly from its greatest extent and the numbers of troops they can muster is also smaller, but their military power is at its peak, as they developed their most advanced technologies and the infrastructures to use them at the same time they shrunk, and the only thing preventing them from taking back their old empire is a lack of will. They get their will for conquest back in the second season, and after easily crushing the Narn (with critical help from the Shadows, admittedly) they take on a dozen races at once and were winning until Londo put a stop to it.


Emperors and Acting Rulers

    Emperor Turhan 
Played by: Turhan Bey
It has occurred to me recently that I have never chosen anything. I was born into a role that had been prepared for me. I did everything I was asked to do because it never occurred to me to choose otherwise. And now, at the end of my life, I wonder what might have been.

  • Bald of Authority: The Centauri emperor Turhan is bald and is characterized as a Reasonable Authority Figure, having dedicated his life and reign as emperor in fixing the damage his family and the Centauri has inflicted. This is emphasized by his character not wearing the traditional Centauri peacock wig, which is used to denote power and status, instead laying his bald head bare.
  • Dying Wish: His last wish is to meet a Vorlon before he dies. Kosh grants it, with a few parting words...
    Turhan: How will it end?
    Kosh: In fire.
  • The Ghost: For much of the series.
  • The Good King: Quite possibly the only Centauri interested in a lasting peace with the Narns.
  • Modest Royalty: His Establishing Character Moment has him refusing to hide his baldness with a massive wig (as befits his station), because he's too old to worry about vanity.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: He's quite aware of backstabbing, power hungry nature of his courtiers. He even wanted to formally apologize to the Narn for the atrocities commited during the First Occupation of Narn.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The man saw the crimes committed by his family and people and regretted them. He worked to give back the Narn the territories his people stole from them. His final act in life was to be him apologizing publicly for the crimes of his people, knowing it wouldn't be much but hoped it would be a start to putting the centuries of hatred behind them.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: The reason why the Narn (G'Kar in particular) hate him. He never did anything to harm the Narn, and in fact had done more in the way of appeasement than any of his predecessors, and yet the bloodshed and suffering caused by his ancestors were apparently enough to stain the entire family line.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: He dies in his only appearance on-screen.

    Emperor Cartagia 
Played by: Wortham Krimmer

One of our very best torturers. I felt certain he would break him. Two hours he worked. Not a sound! I said, 'Give me a cry, give me a shout, a whimper, a scream'. Silence! So, I got into it myself. You can't leave these things to others, they never get it right.

  • Ax-Crazy: A genocidal sadist with delusions of godhood and a habit of talking to severed heads as if they were alive. Clear signs that he is anything but sane.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: He's Emperor and one of the most evil forces in the show.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: He might be a decadent goofball party animal, but he can still have you tortured to death on a whim and his delusions of godhood very nearly got his subjects slaughtered and his homeworld turned into a funeral pyre.
  • The Caligula: Lampshaded by Londo in the novelization of In The Beginning.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Cartagia doesn't sit, he lounges. He doesn't walk, he prances. The cast mentioned in a commentary that it was like working with David Bowie.
  • Depraved Bisexual: According to Krimmer, anyway.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Cartagia explains that he had one of his courtiers beheaded because the man had a persistant and annoying cough.
  • Evil Is Hammy: And don't you dare tell him to tone it down, because he will backhand you for your insolence in telling "the stars to darken on a whim".
  • Faux Affably Evil: Acts in a cheerful and jovial manner, but he's an absolute lunatic who will murder anyone for the slightest reason, smiling all the while. And it doesn't take much for the facade to drop.
  • Godhood Seeker: He hopes to achieve godhood with the aid of the show's resident cosmic menace. To be precise, according to the Centauri religion all emperors become gods upon their deaths. Cartagia wants to be one while he's still alive to enjoy it...
  • Kick the Dog: Notices a court jester mocking him, but decides to play along much to the relief of the courtiers and servants who were in fear for the jester's life...then has the man executed once the fun is over.
  • Light Is Not Good: Always dressed in the emperor's white outfit and completely psycho.
  • Loves the Sound of Screaming: To the point that he personally gets in on efforts to make G'Kar scream, emerging with his hands (but not his white outfit) covered in blood, and using more of G'Kar's blood to water plants in the garden. Londo has to convince G'Kar to scream before Cartagia has him killed.
  • Modest Royalty: Well, by Centauri standards anyway. In particular, his insistence on a very short hair crest. A Centauri male of his rank should have a huge crest to reflect his status, but he prefers the shorter crest because it allows him to go slumming outside the palace.
  • Mood-Swinger: He can either joke around with you, or have you executed on a moment's notice, depending on his mood.
  • Mummies at the Dinner Table: He keeps the severed heads of executed courtiers on his desk, and occasionally stops by to chat with them.
  • Off with His Head!: Courtiers who displease him get this treatment. Then he uses them as his Council (or "Shadow Cabinet" as he calls them).
  • Omnicidal Maniac: When you plan to turn your homeworld into a giant funeral pyre, you qualify.
  • Puppet King: The original intent of installing Cartagia on the throne—Refa and his cronies wanted to rule through Cartagia, and until Refa's death the plan seemed to be working (we never saw Cartagia himself until season 4). It's not clear how well it would have worked long-term, though; as Londo found out, Cartagia is too mad to be properly controlled. It is possible that only Refa knew how to handle him; once he was killed...
  • Villain Ball: He grabs hold when he keeps G'Kar alive rather than just killing the Narn. Had he done so, it would have made Londo's plans to kill him all the harder.

    Regent Milo Virini 
Played by: Damian London
""Once I would've thought pastels for the curtains, but I think we are well beyond pastels now. No, no bright colors anymore, just darkness."

The regent of the Centauri Republic after Cartagia's death.

  • A Fate Worse Than Death: Being made into a thrall of the Drakh via a Keeper.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Topping himself just before the bombs fall. He had no choice in the matter, and so expresses no guilt at ruination of his homeworld. "I'm glad I won't live to see what follows."
  • Beware the Silly Ones: A one-joke character becomes a harbinger of the Centauri War. Through him, the Drakh bankrupt the Republic and transform them into a warlike people.
  • Camp Straight: Is quite flamboyant (even for a Centauri). The first thing he says after being appointed regent? "I'm thinking. . ." (walks to the curtains in the throne room) "pastels."
  • Face Death with Dignity: Funny how impending death brings your life in focus. Milo knows he's just a bit player in all this, but refuses to give the Drakh the satisfaction of seeing his fear.
    I have been many things in my life, Mollari. I have been silly. I have been quiet when I should have spoken. I have been foolish, and I have wasted far too much time. But I am still Centauri, and I am not afraid.
  • Go Out with a Smile: He greets his death with relief that the Keeper is finally leaving him.
  • Mauve Shirt: A man so completely lacking in ambition, whose first official act was to redecorate the throne room. Poor bugger.
  • Meet the New Boss: Picked because he was the polar opposite of Cartagia, and the irony doesn't escape Londo.
    [on the Narn bombardment] "I imagine it will be quite beautiful."
  • Mouth of Sauron: He speaks for the Drakh most of the time.
  • My Death Is Just the Beginning: By the time Londo works out what's happened to Virini, it's too late to stop the coup.
  • Offered the Crown: Londo and the others appointed him Regent because he was too foppish and weak to be a threat. He pays him back by making Londo the next Emperor.
  • The Teetotaler: He claims his "only vice" is strict sobriety, as drinking is an important Centauri past-time. That's why his aides express alarm at his newfound alcoholism.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: Not exactly the keenest mind before his takeover, he snaps after ordering the planetary defenses to stand down.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: "You will say that I was quite mad and gave the attack orders with the knowledge of yourself..."

    Emperor Mollari II 

Londo Mollari
Played by: Peter Jurasik

"My God, man. We've become a tourist attraction. See the great Centauri Republic, open 9:00 to 5:00—Earth time."

  • Ace Pilot: In his younger days; he still has his old touch (see Retired Badass below)
  • The Alcoholic: High-functioning, but still. In the first season he spends much of his time Drowning My Sorrows over the state of the Republic and you almost never see him without a drink. It becomes much less funny later, when he is infected by a Keeper. Londo's only advantage is that, being a Centauri, he has a better alcohol tolerance than it and thus he can remain himself if he drinks himself almost to a stupor. Unfortunately he can't do it too much or it gets suspicious.
    Londo: *Commenting on Garibaldi's choice of drink* Water. Fascinating. I never touch the stuff, myself...
  • Ambiguous Situation: Early on he is prophesied to have several chances to redeem himself. When these events occur, as well as whether he ultimately redeems himself, is left up to the audience.
  • Ambadassador: Ever wondered how he gained the nickname "Fights like a Madman"?
  • Ambition Is Evil: Most of Londo's morally questionable and downright villainous acts stem from his ambition and desire to climb up the ranks.
  • "Ass" in Ambassador: Played straight publicly, subverted privately (sometimes). While his better sense often rebels against the course the Republic might take, Londo is first and foremost a patriot, and zealously promotes their interests and objectives no matter his personal feelings. Unfortunately, as the Centauri become more aggressive and militaristic, this often places Londo in the position of defending the indefensible.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: If only he hadn't answered Morden's question. He got everything he asked for, and regretted it for the rest of his life.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Londo convinces the League of Non-Aligned Worlds to send a combined fleet to assist Sheridan in his fight against the Clark regime, explaining to Delenn that he took the initiative because Sheridan would not ask for help and Delenn could not ask without being perceived as having personal motivation. It's noteworthy that this takes place after the Centauri Republic generally and Londo specifically has antagonized most of the participants.
  • Bilingual Bonus: As with much about the Centauri, his nickname of "Passo Liati", "Fights Like a Madman", is informed by an aspect of Italian culture. In this case, the phrase "pazzo leone", which translates to "crazy lion". The connotation is that one so described not only fights like a madman, but does so very effectively, and the term carries a sense of slightly wary respect.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Following his first contact by the Shadows, Londo's wardrobe purposely gets darker as the series goes on.
    • And in the episode where The Shadows arrive on Centauri Prime, he gets a brief switch back to his original, brighter wardrobe as he begins to realize the full consequences of his actions.
    • Fully inverted when Londo becomes Emperor and wears the completely white uniform of that position, while arguably in the darkest moment of his life.
  • Gone Horribly Right: In Season 1, Londo has been Kicked Upstairs, and he knows it, lamenting how little power he and his people have to his friends and drinking buddies. By the end of the series, he's arguably the single most politically powerful figure on the show, but has no friends, no free will, and is lost to his misery.
  • Guile Hero: Not in every episode but it comes out some times. In the last few episodes of the Shadow Wars arc he actually pulled The Plan on the Shadows (which is for all practical purposes the same as doing that to Satan).
  • Henpecked Husband: Implied to have been one to the dancer he married (and was later forced by his family to divorce). "She had a voice that could curdle fresh milk. 'Londooo?' 'Coming, my darling!'" His third wife, Mariel, is Silk Hiding Steel and described by Timov as a "iron claw in a velvet glove". And Timov, of course, has a very sharp tongue. When Londo has to choose one wife to keep so he can divorce the other two, he chooses to keep Timov because, he claims, at least with her he always knew where he stood. Maybe he likes being henpecked....
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He foresees his death by G'Kar's hands, but only late in life realizes his dying would not only allow Sheridan and Delenn a chance to escape, but be crucial in freeing his people from the allies of the Shadows.
  • Ignored Epiphany: There's more than one occasion during the war with and occupation of Narn where he seems to realize that what he's doing is horrible... and then he keeps right on going.
  • I'm Going to Hell for This: "And when I die, there will be a reckoning." Except he seems to have meant that seriously.
  • Important Haircut: His hair is always ridiculous, but it's ill-kempt in the first season, befitting his status as a drunken, womanizing, political exile. As he returns to power, his hair becomes more groomed. Mostly due to the makeup department getting better at making Londo's wigs, though the fact that it fits his character development so well may not entirely be coincidence.
  • In-Series Nickname: "Passo Liati", a nicknamed earned via his swordfighting abilities. It translates roughly to "Fights Like a Madman".
  • Insult Backfire: During a major celebration of his Ascension everyone must be barefoot. G'Kar shows up wearing his boots and knows how much of an insult it is. But Londo is so jovial about the party, he just laughs and thanks G'Kar, causing G'Kar to have a migraine and move on. (He also ignores the insult because he knows it'd cause G'Kar a fit.)
  • Intrigued by Humanity: He shows a good deal of interest in humanity's culture. He also gained a newfound respect and admiration for humans due to their utter defiance when fighting a Hopeless War against the Minbari.
    "In my life, I have never seen anything like it; They would weep, they would pray, they would say goodbye to their loved ones, and then throw themselves without fear or hesitation at the very face of death itself, never surrendering. No one who saw them fighting against the inevitable could help but be moved to tears by their courage. Their stubborn nobility. When they ran out of ships, they used guns, when they ran out guns they used knives and sticks and bare hands. They were magnificent. I only hope that when it is my time, I may die with half as much dignity as I saw in their eyes in the end."
    • The Centauri as a whole seem fascinated by human culture, borrowing (often inaccurately) human turns of phrase. Londo himself, as he starts to relate the tale of the Earth-Minbari war, states:
      Londo: As a culture grows decadent, it becomes obsessed with art, and trinkets, and eccentricity. And the humans had art and trinkets and eccentricity to spare.
    • He does get frustrated trying to understand the Hokey Pokey, though. The realization that it doesn't actually mean anything seems to get to him. At least Draal enjoyed his rendition of it...
  • It's All About Me: In "The Very Long Night Of Londo Mollari" - a Journey To The Center of Londo's Mind – a part of his mind (represented by G'Kar) points out that, "You're not sorry for what you did! You're just sorry you got caught!" – this trope in a nutshell. As he recovers from his heart attack in that episode, he gives an unexpected apology to G'Kar – one that confirms that, yes, he can actually be sorry for what he's done.
    • At the end of the episode, Londo talks about a Centauri legend about reincarnated souls in unworthy lives – a suitably good soul can attempt to end an appropriately evil existence – literally will the body to die – in order to escape from it. Vir reminisces that he heard that this was about the souls of card-carrying messiahs trapped in the bodies of monsters – and eats his foot when he realizes that Londo is referencing himself.
  • Large Ham: His accent and tendency to shout everything he says definitely makes him into one of these.
    Londo: My deeeaar... MEESTAH Garibaldi!
  • Like You Were Dying: As he knows he won't die until old age, he acts like this from time to time, especially in dangerous situations (explaining why he's The Berserker in sword combat and flies small crafts in the face of walls of flak like he wasn't being shot at: he knows he'll get out unscathed).
  • Man of Wealth and Taste
  • May–December Romance: With Adira Tyree. Also with Mariel, though the "romance" there is...questionable at best.
  • The Mentor: To Vir, in varying degrees. Vir's own family has rejected him, so Londo is his default source of guidance. Londo's Tragic Villain status is all that more disturbing to Vir because of this.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: In private, he is bitter and angry at the foolish and dangerous actions Refa and others are taking, like fighting wars on twelve fronts. In public, he is their supporter.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Beautifully captured when he's observing the mass-driver bombardment of Narn. There isn't a single word of dialogue in the entire scene... Londo's face says it all.
    • And again, when the Centauri Intelligence officer tells him that it was Morden, not Lord Refa, who ordered Adira's death. Being Londo, there is some scenery-chewing once the officer is dismissed, but Jurasik demonstrates his range before then purely in the facial expression. Not only "What Have I Done?", but "I did it because of a lie."
  • Never My Fault: Though it's clear throughout the series that Londo is privately ashamed of his involvement in the war against Narn, because of his pride he refuses to even admit that he has reason to be sorry. Instead, he overcompensates by acting even more anti-Narn in public. He apparently excuses his actions by telling himself that, because he never personally did anything against the Narn, he wasn't really to blame. However, this conveniently ignores the fact that he did personally make the deals that allowed the genocide against the Narn to take place, even if that wasn't his intended result. In "The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari", he finally admits, "I've never apologized for anything in my life."
  • No Hero to His Valet: Vir once he gains more confidence routinely calls Londo out on some of his more questionable decisions. Londo, to his credit, actually starts listening.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: If Londo wants to hurt you, he will do that at his earliest convenience, in the quickest and most decisive way he can come up with. And if he wants you destroyed, he'll make sure it happens.
  • Number Two: As Prime Minister.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: He really does like his booze and his gambling, but he's not nearly as dumb as he lets on.
  • Odd Friendship: With G'Kar once both get character development.
  • Pet the Dog: After Vir begs Londo to help him learn to live with the guilt of misdeeds, Londo refuses, telling Vir to embrace the guilt. Londo doesn't want Vir to be like him.
    • Londo does this all the time, whether it's looking after his young and idealistic atache Vir, or pulling strings to help two young Centauri avoid arranged marriages, or giving Garibaldi some cash when he was on the run from the law. It's a major reason he remains a sympathetic character in spite of all he's done.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: He starts off as this, providing comic relief with his alcoholism, wit, and hamminess.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Unwillingly assigned to Babylon 5 before the series begins. Londo's superior tells him in no uncertain terms that it's a dead-end job.
    • Reassignment Backfire: Even before getting help from the Shadows he had already made the job important, and with their help became one of the most powerful men of Centauri Prime.
  • Redemption Equals Death
  • Retired Badass: Londo was at the head of the Centauri assault on a world in his backstory, and on the one incident he piloted a shuttle he weaved, effortlessly and laughing, through incoming anti-air fire.
    • Incoming anti-air fire that had already foiled three out of four previous attempts to reach the planet's surface, one of which six ships launched from an Earth Force cruiser.
      Susan Ivanova: My god, whoever's piloting that shuttle's a madman!
  • Sad Clown: In season 1. As the Republic is failing and Londo's position is seen as a joke, he compensates with jesting and merriment (and copious amounts of alcohol).
  • Screw Destiny: Subtly, but has tried to avert the future in which he becomes emperor and dies in a Mutual Kill with G'kar, as he apparently guessed the price for his success was too high (and being told that it would happen didn't stop him, as he was also told that the price would indeed be too high). Most notably, when G'kar really pissed him off early on he grabbed a gun with the intention of killing him then and there in public, thus averting the circumstances of his death.
  • Start of Darkness: He officially started down the path with the Shadows when he went to them and asked them to attack a major Narn outpost. It is the first time he went to them and not out of any dire need but political gain.
  • Tragic Hero/Tragic Villain: He can be read as either depending on the audience's interpretation. He initially seems to be nothing but a drunken buffoon, but it becomes clear he's a true patriot who genuinely wants to lift his people up from his malaise. However, the price for this and his ambitions ultimately proves to be too high.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Peter Jurasik described the accent as being vaguely Eurotrash (the actor's natural accent is generic American). JMS originally forbade Jurasik from giving Londo an accent. He went ahead and did it anyway, and when JMS called him on it, he responded "What accent?" and kept going. Jurasik has stated in other interviews that the accent is one he borrowed from an elderly gentleman he had known as a child, who had been a minor noble and court functionary of some sort in pre-Soviet Russia, and whose native language was heavily Russian-accented French.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: His attempts at preventing that future ultimately fail, and the price for becoming emperor was even higher than he thought. And when he tried to gun down G'Kar, Talia read his mind and had Garibaldi thwart him.

    Emperor Cotto 

Vir Cotto

Played by: Stephen Furst
Londo: There is still hope for you...and for that I find I still envy you.

  • Ambadassador: He earned the promotion to ambassador by threatening a Drazi spy with a sword.
  • Badass Bureaucrat: Not only is he efficient in his work for Londo, he successfully saved thousands of Narn lives by reporting them dead and having them shipped to other colonies. If saving lives via paperwork isn't this trope, what is?
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Never assume Vir's kindness and dorky mannerisms mean he's weak or helpless.
  • Butt-Monkey: In early seasons especially, he often took on a disproportionate amount of suffering. Three times in the third season alone, he was assaulted; this was lampshaded after the third one.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: By even human standards he's a cheap drunk, being completely sloshed from three small drinks over several hours in There all the Honor Lies. When he tries the stuff Londo drinks he passes out after one sip.
    • By the time he succeeds Londo as Emperor, he ends up developing some of his old superior's bad habits, including his excessive drinking, but he is still a great leader.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Vir is very prone to wild gesticulations and facial contortions when he's emotional, which is most of the time. In a cast commentary it was mentioned that one had to be on their toes when doing a scene with Stephen Furst, because he stole every scene he was in.
  • The Conscience: Londo's conscience, though often a rather ineffective one. He's not entirely ignored, though; as early as "The War Prayer", Vir manages to get Londo to listen to him.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: His default manner is fairly timid, but even as early as the first season he's willing to stand up to Londo, and he shows more spine as the series continues. His timid nature and bumbling mannerisms bely his competence and his bravery; in the second season alone he stands up to a frightening apparition of the Technomages and also mocks Mr. Morden.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu? — by flipping off their proxy: Mr. Morden.
    Mr. Morden: If restoring the Centauri Republic means nothing to you, what does? What do you want?
    Vir: I'd like to live just long enough to be there when they cut off your head and stick it on a pike, as a warning to the next ten generations that some favors come with too high a price. I want to look up into your lifeless eyes, and wave... like this.
    [Vir does a mocking little cutesy wave.]
    Vir: Can you and your associates arrange that for me, Mr. Morden? Vir gets his wish, and without a catch, and even arranged by Mr. Morden's (erstwhile) associate, Londo.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: The few times Vir gets drunk prior to the climax of the Shadow War are played for laughs. Except for the time he is so overcome with guilt and grief after being forced to assassinate Emperor Cartagia that he tries his boss's method of coping. This is not played for laughs at all.
  • The Emperor: Years after the events of the main series, Vir becomes Emperor after Londo's death.
  • Grew a Spine: His entire character arc throughout the series. Over time he stands up to Londo more and more, takes the initiative to help people, hacks up the fruit stand of a Drazi spy, tells Mr. Morden where he can stick his "What do you want?" offer, and finally becomes Emperor.
  • Heroic BSoD: When he kills Cartagia. Though the assassination was the only way to save billions of lives, the guilt overwhelms him.
  • Hidden Depths: So many. His timid manner hides a surprising amount of bravery, his stammering and bumbling manner belies his competence, and while he is highly idealistic, he's also a pretty good judge of character, able to recognize the Devil in Plain Sight for what he is.
  • Humble Hero: Vir's response when he learns he will one day be Emperor? He *laughs.* The very notion of him leading his people is absurd to him. A rare trait in a society that is built towards upwards social ambition.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Vir can carry out complex negotiations with other alien ambassadors with little to no guidance from Londo; generally has needed research ready before Londo even requests it; and often fills in for Londo when Londo is otherwise occupied/hung over/not on speaking terms with G'Kar. Diplomatic personnel who refuse to deal with Londo will go to Vir instead if they really have to deal with the Centauri. Eventually Vir receives appointment as ambassador to Minbar—partly on merit and partly because Londo wants to keep him away from the Centaurum while Cartagia is Emperor. Vir becomes a highly-placed official when Londo takes the throne, and eventually becomes Emperor himself.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: All he ever wanted was a good job, a small title, a wife that loves him for who he really is and a quiet life. He didn't want to know all of Londo's secrets or plots or be forced to murder the Rmperor for the sake of his people's survival. His lack of ambition ironically made him the savior of his people
  • Irony: Vir, the most moral of the Centauri seen on the show, who never seeks power for himself, commits regicide by assassinating the insane Emperor Cartagia, not because of his own ambition (which he seems to lack) but for the greater good of others. Later on he becomes Emperor himself.
  • The Kingslayer: He's the one to actually end Emperor Cartagia. He later winds up drinking himself into a stupor over it.
  • Only Sane Man: He's able to see Mr. Morden for what he is without outside help, and tries to dissuade Londo from taking certain actions. A few times, he even gets Londo to listen.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Cartagia's so awful that even Vir knows he needs to die.
    • And when Cartagia does die by Vir's hand, Vir has a breakdown and gets paraletic.
  • Rank Up: Happens twice on-screen; first when Vir is appointed ambassador to the Minbari and again when he succeeds Londo as Emperor. As the Centauri believe their emperors become gods after they die, Vir will eventually become a Centauri deity as well.
  • Restricted Rescue Operation: Heavily implied that his time as Lincolni fell under this.
  • Secret-Keeper: To Londo. This leads him to a small Heroic Blue Screen of Death in season 2.
  • Socially Awkward Hero: As has already been noted, he's meek (though by no means a doormat), bumbling, shy, inexperienced with women and lacking in ambition. And if not for him, his race may have been rendered extinct during the Shadow War
  • Sue Donym: Abrahamo Lincolni, a made-up bureaucrat who saves thousands of Narns. Only, he used the name deliberately. While this proves to be a Paper-Thin Disguise to the humans when they come across the name and recognize it immediately for what it is, the Centauri have no familiarity with the Earther historical figure, and would have no reason to. The humans in fact flesh out the identity and use it themselves for situations where having a Centauri official's approval would be helpful.
  • Wham Line: See Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?. Prior to this line, Vir was largely inept comic relief. Of a sudden, he's not just prone to keen insight (he'd already shown that he knew what kind of person Mr. Morden was in "The Coming of Shadows"), he's also thoroughly disgusted with a man who's politically seduced far more experienced men—and is willing to say so to said man's face. Also, in "Sic Transit Vir":
    Vir: They're not dead!

Court Officials

    Prime Minister Malachi 
Played by: Malachi Throne

  • The Good Chancellor: He is a wise and reasonable authority figure. He would have been a key player in stopping Cartagia from assuming the throne, if not for his murder.
  • Never Suicide: Refa and his cohorts inform he had commited suicide. Several smarter nobles, like Urza Jaddo, suspect that Refa had him murdered.

    Lord Antono Refa 
Played by: William Forward
[Damnation] is a small price to pay for immortality.

  • Ambition Is Evil: He wants power by any means. From plotting against the Emperor, including sabotaging their own economy to make his "predictions" more accurate, to working with the Shadows. His ambition is so great Londo uses it to frame him after his death to look like he was supplying the Narn with strategic information to hurt Cartagia's government, and thus open doors for him to go even higher.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: The man is about the same social station as Londo, but that is where the similarities end. The man plotted to take down Emperor Turhan and his close allies before the man's death, destroyed the name of anyone who tried to stop his grab for power, and signed the papers to bomb Narn from orbit with mass drivers.
  • Asshole Victim: As it turns out, he was actually innocent of the crime that he was assassinated in retaliation for (the poisoning of Adira). That's not nearly the same as saying he didn't deserve the death he got—he did everything else on the list of crimes Londo presented.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: His plans for becoming Emperor of the Centauri are small potatoes compared to the war between the Vorlons and the Shadows.
  • Colony Drop: Arranged to bomb Narn into submission with a mass driver (a weapon that fires asteroids and other space debris) bombardment that lasted for days.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: His daughter, Lady Senna, plays a significant part in the novels as Londo's ward, and it's mentioned that he was a legitimately good dad.
  • Evil Chancellor: He orchestrates the deaths of the Emperor and Prime Minister to install Cartagia.
  • Fantastic Racism: Towards the Narn, of course.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: He's the one who masterminds the Narn death camps and genetic cleansing programs.
  • Framing the Guilty Party: The ultimate irony of his downfall is that he's guilty of everything except the thing that drives Londo to have him assasssinated. And after his death, Londo uses him for a Deceased Fall-Guy Gambit to further his own position.
  • Genre Blindness: Refa is so blinded by ambition that he never stops to question why an extremely powerful race like the Shadows would deign to help the Centauri while asking seemingly little in return.
  • Karmic Death: Beaten to death by a mob of angry Narn.
  • Not Me This Time: Londo arranges Refa's death because he assumes Refa had his lover Adira murdered. It was actually Morden doing a Batman Gambit. However, the Narns that Londo enlisted to carry out the deed have no reason care about that considering Refa is guilty about everything else Londo told them about him.
  • Oh, Crap!: Gives us some awesome faces when he realizes that Londo has casually put him under his boot and nothing prevents him from/is about to stomp hard, and then when he realizes Londo is about to have him not only killed in another way but is going to destroy him and all his work (see Out-Gambitted below).
  • Out-Gambitted: He went to Narn to capture G'kar in Londo's men's place, thus striking a powerful blow to the Narn resistance and damage Londo politically. Once he meets G'kar in a cave he finds out that Londo told the Narn they had multiple reasons to kill him and is paying them by freeing two thousand detained Narns in exhange for his death (half in advance and half pending G'Kar going along with the plan, not to mention that there will be no retaliation by the occupiers for the death of this specific Centauri), and that his bodyguards actually work for Londo. Behold! And that's not the first time Londo does something like that to him, this is.
  • Smug Snake: As opposed to his rival, Londo Mollari, who manages to be incredibly intelligent, Refa is overconfident and ends up frequently outplayed by Mollari. The last time he's outwitted, it ends with his death.
  • The Strategist: Whatever his faults, Refa is excellent being this, correctly interpreting intelligence on the Narn's fleet's major strike and planning a trap of his own.
  • Unwitting Pawn: When he went to Narn he was playing right into Londo's hands.
  • Upper-Class Twit: He makes an alliance with the Shadows for short-term gain by waging war against other races, but he's either oblivious or apathetic to the fact that doing so while waging war against the Narns just ends up weakening his race's security.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: The actor copied Londo's vaguely East-European accent.

    Urza Jaddo 
Played by: Carmen Argenziano

A nobleman and an old friend of Londo's. When his family is disgraced in Centauri politics he provokes a duel with Mollari to ensure that after his death Londo will care for his family according to the customs of Centauri duels.

  • Batman Gambit: Challenges Londo to a duel with weapons that favor his skills only to throw the match and let Londo kill him as honor dictates that his family would be brought under the protection of House Mollari and be protected from Refa.
  • Blue Blood: A good and noble man who hates the monsters his people have become.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Invoked with his duelling nickname, which translates to "Silent Beast".
  • Duel to the Death: With Londo. After a long duel when both are worn, he intentionally loses by leaving himself open when aiming an over-the-head fial strike against Londo. He does this to protect his family and their names from the vicious lies Refa was concocting.
  • Friendly Enemy: When he realizes Londo is working with Refa, they realize they are this.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Allows Londo to kill him in a duel to save his family.
  • In-Series Nickname: Like Londo, he earned a nickname within their duelling society. His is "Skal Tura", which translates to "Silent Beast".
  • Master Swordsman: Even Londo cannot match his skill with a sword.
  • Papa Wolf: Lord Refa was doing his best to ruin his family, so he does what he has to to ensure their safety and well being.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Whatever happened at Gorash 7 turned him away from the expansionist ideals that so many other Centauri nobles have. He did things that haunt him many years later.
  • Suicide by Cop: He allows himself to be struck down by Londo, giving him an opening to kill him and save his family.
  • Thanatos Gambit: By dying in the duel, he protects his family from Lord Refa's resolution.

Other Notable Individuals

    Adira Tyree 
Played by: Fabiana Udenio

A slave, and Londo's one true love.

  • Honey Trap: Adira's original mission the first time she appears, as she seduces Londo, then drugs him and then steals incriminating files from him. She runs off just as she was about to deliver the files to her master.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: She only strictly appears in one episode and dies offscreen, but her death is the reason Londo joins up with Morden and the Shadows once again.

    Timov Mollari 
Played by: Jane Carr

One of Londo's three wives.

  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other:
    • Well, no they don't. But they tolerate each other, and at least they're honest about their lack of affection or romantic interest. More importantly, they know that they won't try to kill each other.
    • Played straight in the companion novel The Long Night of Centauri Prime, in which Timov and Emperor Mollari decide to try again and do actually fall in love with each other. Their love lasts, but their happiness does not - Londo frames Timov for treason and has her banished, but it's because he is terrified that the Drakh will kill her if she finds out that they are controlling him.
  • Brutal Honesty: Her default mode. Londo seems to prefer this over the insincerity of the his other two wives.
  • Jerkass: She tells others what she thinks of them (rarely anything good), and doesn't care what they think about that.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She definitely has standards, though; see What You Are in the Dark.
  • Man Bites Man: She says she only did it once, but Vir heard differently.
  • Names to Run Away From: Londo gave his wives nicknames lifted from the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and she's Famine.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: They're not friends or lovers in any possible sense of the word. Nevertheless, it's rather telling that Londo never attempted to divorce her or marry someone else, even after becoming Emperor. Centauri practice polygamy and explicitly marry for political reasons. The marriage to Timov may ultimately reflect a family alliance Londo still finds advantageous (not to mention a possible need for an heir). Londo may have been leading up to marriage, or at least a very public affair, with Adira before Morden had her killed. Londo could have kept her as a slave and concubine, and gotten what he wanted, but chose to free her. That's love.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Timov is vomit spelled backwards. This is because she represents Famine. Originally, the wives were all going to have obvious punny names.
  • What You Are in the Dark: She didn't have to donate blood to save Londo, she could have easily kept it a secret and gotten the inheritance. She openly admits that part of her wouldn't mind seeing Londo die, but tells Dr. Franklin that she won't win her battles like this.

    Lyndisty Drusella 
Played by: Carmen Thomas

The daughter of a powerful Centauri noble, Lord Drusella

  • Fantastic Racism: Against the Narn, to the point of extreme sadism.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Raised to be prim and polite by her noble parents, but the affability doesn't really gel with her...extreme... views on Narns.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: She is a Centauri noblewoman, but also one who was able to ambush and defeat a Narn singlehandedly.
  • Slasher Smile: Smiles pleasantly at the thought of killing Narns.

Played by: Stephen Macht